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Howard's and Costello's way on industrial relations changes.



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations Member for Perth

45/05 16 May 2005

HOWARD’S AND COSTELLO’S WAY ON INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CHANGES

Treasurer Peter Costello has today joined Prime Minister Howard and Workplace Relations Minister Andrews and refused to guarantee that no individual Australian employee will be worse off under the Government’s proposed industrial relations changes.

The Treasurer was asked on radio this morning to give that guarantee. Like Mr Howard and Mr Andrews, he refused.

The fact that the Howard Government has consistently refused to give such a guarantee is a significant warning to Australian workers and their families.

The Prime Minister’s persistent refusal to guarantee that no individual Australian worker will be worse off under his proposed industrial relations changes stands in stark contrast to the ‘rock solid iron clad guarantee’ the Howard Government gave during the election on the ill-fated Medicare Safety Net.

The Government will break a rock solid guarantee on the health safety net but not even give a guarantee on a wages safety net.

The Howard Government has opposed every minimum wage rise since coming to office in 1996. If the Howard Government had its way, individual Australian workers and their families would today be $2300 a year or $44 a week worse off.

Under the Government’s extreme approach, the wages and entitlements of thousands of Australian employees could be slashed.

In failing to guarantee that no individual Australian worker will be worse off under the Prime Minister’s proposed changes to industrial relations, Australian employees and their

families have got nothing to look forward to under the Howard Government, other than having their wages reduced, conditions and entitlements slashed, and safety nets removed.

Contact: Courtney Hoogen on (02) 6277 4108 or 0414 364 651